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Feeling Anxious About Returning To In-Person Life? You're Not Alone, Experts Say

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- As COVID-19 restrictions are eased and Marylanders start to head back to work, some may be feeling a little anxiety about the return to in-person life.

While many Marylanders have been longing for a return back to normalcy, not everyone is feeling great about going back to work and school.

"I personally do not want to go back in. I have a little nephew at home and with the new strains that are coming out it's very risky," Lashaunta Lusk, a Hampden resident, said.

Even with vaccines out, some are still concerned about getting COVID, but others may have a hard time adjusting to being in public again.


Dr. Neda Gould, a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Professor, said socializing is a skill that's gotten rusty for some during the pandemic and the reintroduction of it may cause some to become anxious.

"We haven't been interacting with people in the same ways, so I think it's going to take some time for us to build that skill again," Dr. Gould said.

Another factor is there's still a lot that we don't know about the pandemic.

"There are still so many questions. Safety comes from knowing what to expect and we still don't 100% know what to expect," Dr. Aliya Jones, of the Maryland Department of Health, said.

So, what can you do? Psychologists said to acknowledge that you're anxious and to understand that's okay.

Also, think about what may make you stressed about reopenings and what you can do about it.

"One thing people can do is to role-play what they might do when they get into a public situation," Dr. Jones said. "How will you feel if you hear somebody sneeze or cough, what if somebody is not wearing a mask."

It may also help to just keep wearing your mask.

"I think that we can also reduce our anxiety by feeling that we can control what we can control and that's why I think it's so important for people to wear PPE, that they social distance," Dr. Miriam Alexander, of LifeBridge Health, said.

Doctors said to remember it may take some time to readjust, and if you're struggling to reach out to a mental health professional.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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